Did you know that Nashville and Middle Tennessee has been invaded?

This resource guide to foreign invaders of landscape plants in Nashville and Middle Tennessee is important for any homeowner who wants to keep their landscape looking beautiful and as healthy as possible.

In this guide we will share 5 of the most prolific pest invaders of Nashville and Middle Tennessee that can damage your trees and shrubs and cost you money.

The first step in protecting your landscape is to be aware of the problem. Learning what type of pests are in your area is the first step.

5 Foreign Invaders of Landscape Plants in Nashville and Middle Tennessee

emerald ash borer in nashville, tn

Photo by Julia Stewart

  1. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been found in 22 states so far including Tennessee since it was accidentally introduced from Asia.  This pest bores into the bark and kills the ash tree. The emerald green insects lay their eggs in the bark. The larva eats the tissue under the bark causing bark splitting. Bark splitting encourages more insect damage and eventual death of the tree. Treatments with high success rates are available which offer a two year protection on most trees.  Homeowners who see woodpeckers boring big holes in ash trees (in order to get the grub out),or other symptoms, should have a professional landscaper or arborist inspect the tree.

2.  Southern Pine beetles cause more damage than all other tree pests in the U.S.  It infects Loblolly, shortleaf, pitch, pond, and Virginia pines all over the southeastern United States.  You may see concentrated infestations or “spots” in an infected forest.  Natural enemies like predators, parasitoids and diseases can help maintain or reduce population levels.  The most obvious symptom of a southern pine beetle infestation is the discoloration of the needles in the tree crown. Needles fade from green to dull green, yellow, and finally reddish-brown before falling.

3.  Fire Ants have finally made it to Nashville and Middle ennessee.  Mounds can already be seen in areas around the Cool Springs roadways.  Fire ants were accidentally imported in shipping crates and landscape plants from outside the area.  Mounds are located in rotting logs and around stumps and trees and colonies can also be found under buildings.  Fire ants are identified as reddish brown in color and about 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length.  Ant bait, which kills the queen, and granular insecticide are effective in eliminating infestations. Colonies may need more than one application.  Hiring a professional is recommended.

4.  Hemlock woody adelgid  is devastating hemlock species in 37 counties of Tennessee. It is a small, aphid-like insect that threatens the health of the tree by weakening the tree structure resulting in death within 4 – 10 years.  Cultural, regulatory, and biological controls have been found to be beneficial in extending the life of the tree.

5.   Boxwood Blight, which can defoliate an entire boxwood in one season, has been found in 9 states in the U.S. including Tennessee.  The number is expected to rise in the near future.  Caused by the pathogen Cylindrocladium buxicola (sin. C pseudenaviculatum),  symptoms include tan-to-brown circular spots on leaves which eventually turn the whole leaf brown and is then shed by the plant.  The root system is not initially affected but as the root system continues to decline, the plant will die.  Other signs of the blight are masses of white spores on the underside of leaves and stems.

To prevent these pests from invading your landscape, inspection of  your shrubs and trees is an important part of maintaining your landscape.  It is always good to have an  inspection by a professional to head off any potential problems your plants may have.  They will also be able to spot any plants that might be under stress  Stressed plants are more susceptible to damage from insects and disease in the future.

If you would like an inspection of your shrubs and trees please give Acer Landscape Services a call at 615-350-8030 or fill out a Contact Form online.

Pesticide Precautionary Statement
Pesticides used improperly can be injurious to humans, animals, and plants. Follow the directions and heed all precautions on the labels.
Note: Some States have restrictions on the use of certain pesticides. Check your State and local regulations. Also, because registrations of pesticides are under constant review by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, consult your county agricultural agent or State extension specialist to be sure the intended use is still registered.

Resources:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev2_042840.pdf
http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-ento-011613-162051?journalCode=ento
http://doyourownpestcontrol.com/pest_control/questions_and_answers/top_10_things_you_should_know_about_fire_ants.html
http://na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/pest_al/hemlock/hwa05.htm
https://ag.tennessee.edu/spp/SPP%20Publications/Boxblight.pdf by Alan Windham, Mark Windham and Anni Self.

5-Common-Landscaping-Mistakes-Homeowners-Make_-andHow-To-Prevent-Them2At Acer, we're planting the good life. For FREE estimates call 615-350-8030 x 17 or complete our short form online.

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